When it comes to a jury trial, it's not like there is a shortage of concerns. Recently we've heard of Tweeting and Facebooking jurors. Now one Mr. Bruce Slutsky of New York brings us a new consideration: blogging jurors.
The case is especially noteworthy because, despite the fact that Slutsky admittedly blogged about his experience as a juror, the judge found that Slutsky had done nothing wrong. Professor John Clark of the University of Texas strongly disagreed. Clark originally discovered Slutsky's blog and was stunned. Jurors are prohibited from discussing the case with their friends and family, "much less go on the World Wide Web and discuss it with everybody," he said.
The judge was not troubled by the blog posts. Neither were the attorneys, nor parties to the case. They found that Slutsky's comments were vague enough not to have an impact on the case.
But Clark disagreed, and pointed to a specific post that he felt clearly crossed the line. Writing of the plaintiff taking the stand for the second day, Bruce Slutsky wrote: "It was really annoying when the witness got the same question over and over ... This is very annoying ... [much of the evidence] is not relevant to the jury's ultimate decision of liability."
According to John Clark, "If you're an attorney and you're reading this ... you may try to go back the next day to try to clear up something." Further, The New York Times reports that Clark said that it demonstrates that Slutsky was not keeping an open mind.
It's the kind of issue we can only expect to see more of in the future. For now blogging jurors remain a legal gray area that you should keep an eye on.
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